Phytolith Analysis and the Indus Civilisation: A Review


No Thumbnail Available
Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Bates, J 
Petrie, CA 
Abstract

This paper presents a review of the application of phytolith analysis to the archaeology of the Indus Civilisation (c. 4000-1300 BCE) of South Asia. Phytoliths are microscopic silica casts of plant cells formed during the life of the plant through the uptake of monosilicic acid from groundwater. The phytolith studies that have thus far been carried out on Indus settlement sites are reviewed, and the range of issues to which phytolith analysis has been applied to Indus archaeology are also outlined here. This paper argues that phytolith analysis holds great potential for gaining alternative views on age-old archaeological questions relating to the Indus Civilisation. It concludes that although understudied at the moment, there is much to be gained by employing phytolith analysis systematically during archaeological studies in this region and time period.

Description
Keywords
Journal Title
Man and Environment
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
41
Publisher
Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies
Publisher DOI
Publisher URL